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Hades does not want your suicide [poem]

put down the shaking pill bottle
the sharpened blade
the loaded gun
I don’t need you here yet child
your willingness to join me is an unwanted offering
I do not want this sacrifice of young flesh
harvested before its time
I have never asked
for the blood of the living to feed the dead
I will never ask for you to lay your body
across my altar like a feast
for the ghouls haunting your heavy heart
I prefer you breathing
crying and screaming or numb and silent
but always breathing
you will stand before me when your day comes to pass
not a second sooner
do not try to cut in line to get here
I do not want you yet

-poem by Larissa Lee
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hard won gifts from the dead [poem]

I’ve always had this weird relationship with the dead
one where I stand here
reaching back in time with my gratitude
sometimes wishing I could speak with them in person

for example
the first man to guide me along my spiritual path
died as I was just learning how to read
his books would come to me
in those twilight years between childhood
and adulthood
opening my eyes to the wonders of nature and magic

my grandpa died and taught me a lesson too
the news of his passing
a message passed across the ocean to me
I cried and promised him that
I’d end the strained silence between my dad and me
before it was too late

and then there was a miscarriage
an unexpected loss that scooped out a part of me
and made me face the lies I told myself
about motherhood and femininity
and my own dreams

later I cried for the girls who killed themselves
after violent hands took from their bodies
and the bullying outweighed their will to keep on living
they taught me how to weigh my own words
against the pain they may cause
to remember their power to hurt as well as to heal
and contrary to my naive heart’s belief
you really can’t save everyone

the dead are beyond this place
their souls somewhere only death can take you
but the lessons they’ve given me are hard won gifts
I can only repay by living

-poem by Larissa Lee
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incomplete [poem]

so much of the world around me is
incomplete
by my own lazy hand
piles of books waiting for a home on a shelf
a basket of laundry washed
but never folded
half a dozen unfinished poems piled like
evidence of an almost effort to do something creative
I find comfort
in the half done chaos that is
my chosen environment
most days
I’m lucky to feel like I did anything measurable
aside from breathing and
taking up my designated space
but this is how I experience home
as the safe place to tuck my incomplete heart
until I can handle the art of putting it back together
home is the one place
I’m allowed to be the unfinished puzzle
allowed embrace the mess of random pieces I am
without explanation
or apology

-poem by Larissa Lee
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blue sky [poem]

I won’t lie to you
sometimes
I am as empty as the Texas summer sky
and this is just a false smile
a beautiful shade of brilliant blue
the cloudless stretch becomes a metaphor
for the numbness
the mask of contentment that hides a drought
my waterless eyes
no less in danger of crying
just less obvious than heavy raindrops
trickling down my cheeks
instead
cracked earth smiles show the desperate need
for something other than all this
blue sky

-poem by Larissa Lee
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when I’m dead and gone [poem]

when I’m dead and gone
I want to be deconstructed
pulled into a million tiny pieces
I want my things given out like Halloween candy
to friends and family
and donation bins
I want my body parts to fix whatever they can
add a few more years to someone else’s clock
the rest of my body a pyre
turned into easily scattered ashes
in my deepest dreams there is no headstone
only fading memories
I want my existence to dissolve like salt in water
a perfect solution to dying
because death is the last step in a cycle that
keeps repeating
keeps repeating
birth and life and death and rebirth
it just
keeps repeating
and this round just happens to be over
it’s okay to let me go
I’ll be back

-poem by Larissa Lee
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Mjolnir [poem]

you are sitting in the crater
made by your crash landing here not so long ago
you feel lost
like you’re missing something important
but please stay put
when the strangers come
wrapping their hands around you
and trying to take
they are not worthy
you
are beyond their small egos and smaller dreams
do not move
you are a powerful treasure
forged in the heart of a dying star
awe inspiring myth and magic
no living being has the right to you
unless they’ve earned it
proved their worthiness to be on par
with the gods themselves
you are stormbringer and lightning queen in one
a heavy burden for anyone to hold
let he who is worthy try his hand at loving you
if he dare

-poem by Larissa Lee
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time travelers [poem]

in examining my failed string of relationships
I’ve come to the conclusion that time
has never been on my side
or rather
those at my side have
never had the same time in mind
I’ve been loved by men who cling to
the memory of someone I was years ago
as if that version of me isn’t already long gone
those men love in limbo
trapped in the paradox of
having me but not really having me
confused when I’m more stranger than lover
they are drawn to the ghost of a girl I’ll never be again
I’ve been loved by men who always
watched the horizon
their thoughts seven moves ahead
while they worry about being remembered
and finding fame
loving me becomes a crutch
something to hold them back
by virtue of my unwillingness to shoot
for the same distant stars
you see
I’ve never been one for time travel
never felt the need to live and love in anything but
the present tense
and so I’ve become this odd convergence
a fixed point in time that lovers pass through
on their journeys forward and back
none of them ever staying here
now
with me
this is what it’s like to love a time traveler
to be left over and over and over
until the reasons they give you all sound the same
the faces blur together
a dozen men or a man with a dozen faces
either way it starts to feel like time’s just repeating
in an infinite loop of almosts and near misses

-poem by Larissa Lee